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7293: BRA's report on the conference at the United Nations, Feb. , 28th, 2001 (fwd)

From: bateyrelief@mindspring.com

Dear Friend,

Last Wednesday, February 28th, 2001, BRA held its First International
Conference at the United Nations, entitled Dominican's bateyes: a New
Reality.  The event was a success, thanks to our sponsors, collaborators,
and participants.

Approximately 200 people attended the symposium, more than the auditorium's
seating capacity of 195. Students, scholars, health care and legal
professionals, government officials, politicians, and concerned citizens all
came to learn more about the issue and exchange viewpoints. Our expert
panelists did a fantastic job exposing objectively the changes that have
occurred in the bateyes since the 1950s to create that new reality, yet
unknown to so many.  For example, the children of undocumented Haitian
migrants are still stateless in the bateyes; 70% of the batey population is
Dominican; the Dominican sugar industry is now in the hands of the private
sector; or Haitian migrants work in other areas besides the traditional
sugar cane plantations, etc.  These facts are important and will serve us
well in the way we perceive the situation and work towards alleviation.

BRA shall continue to work with all interested parties to serve the needs of
indigent populations, including those identified as migrant workers.  We
believe that our work in the bateyes can only be done through a concerted
effort involving government institutions, foreign embassies, corporations,
faith-based organizations, private individuals and the recipient population.
Likewise we believe that our effort should focus mainly on creating a
productive environment where the children are allowed a formal education;
the youth are taught new skills and trades; women are organized against
domestic violence; affordable health care and housing is provided; and
rights are protected.  It is a human investment that will in the end benefit
all of us.

On behalf of the BRA and its Board of Directors, I thank you once again for
attending the conference.  And for others who were not able to make it
because of last minute plans or the flu, we understand.  We are in the
process of securing publication of the event, and we shall send you a copy
upon availability.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions on the conference - and on how BRA
should move forward with its humanitarian projects.

Thank you very much.

Ulrick Gaillard
Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) www.bateyrelief.org
Tax-exempt, non-profit, non-political humanitarian aid organization.
For donations and information, please contact:
Ulrick Gaillard, J.D., Executive Director
P.O. Box 300565, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230
(917) 627-5026 or at bateyrelief@mindspring.com.
Maria Virtudes Berroa, Regional Director
Apartado Postal 5085, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dom.
(809) 383-1547 or at bra.dominicana@mindspring.com
A copy of BRA's latest annual report may be obtained, upon request,
from the organization or from the Office of the Attorney General, Charities
Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10271